Whatever happened to the "demo" scene?

scorch56

New Member
A couple of years ago.. I used to visit web-sites (and grabbed some off of Usenet) that had what were called "demo" releases by various groups of people who dabbled in, and made small execuables that usually played music (mod; midi and later MP3s) while one usually watched some kind of strange visuals or 3D graphics to it. They were called "demos" and the groups who made them were mostly European and had strange names and held "competitions" much like "rip" release warez groups do. They didn't deal in or "pirate" anything (Though I think they may have gotten their starts from the little group "demos" some warez groups put in with their release files). They were simply ways for blossoming 3D artists and programmers to show off their talent. Most often.. the music was "techno".

Anybody remember these things? They almost ALWAYs required 3D graphics cards at the time and several websites kept up on the "scene" with news and always offered up "works" for free download. Some could be as big as 10 to 30 mb.. near the end of their "heyday". I'll bet I've got nearly 3 or 4 hundred of these things archived away somewhere on removable media. About 2 years ago one of the major sites (can't really remeber it's name.. it may have been "Existenz" they offered up awesome wallpapers as well) disappeared off the face of the earth and I lost interest. I don't even know if people do this kind of thing anymore.. but I'd sure like to know if they do.

Anybody know what I'm talking about?

Thanks to all for your time and attention.
 

y2kzorak

New Member
The scene is still alive, though I guess maybe less noticeable? I don't know.. A while back I did some search for intros, and found some AMAZING ones. I can't believe they are 64K.

These guys produce the best ones:

http://www.farb-rausch.de/

I hope you enjoy them!
 

antime

Extra Hard Mid Boss
The scene's still alive and well, the latest demoparty was Alternative Party held this weekend here in Helsinki. Assembly is still held annually, though there's many attendees who are only there to play Quake and the likes, but that's why Alternative Party and the likes exist. www.scene.org and Orange Juice are two of the main scene news sites, if you're interested.

This spring, the museum of contemporary art here will hold an exhibition on demos and democulture. It seems demos are trying to become a legitimized form of art, see for example the katastro.fi media arts network.

PS. scorch56, your post dates you.. 3D acceleration and demos bigger than 4MB didn't come along until 1998 or so. I remember the huge flamewars about acceleration vs. software rendering on comp.sys.ibm.pc.demos. I always thought demos lost a little when accelerated demos became the norm, but the change was inevitable. Fortunately design and innovation are getting back in style, but it seems it's mainly through old groups. Of course there's still the C64 and Spectrum demoscenes for when you want to be really impressed.
 

scorch56

New Member
Originally posted by antime@Jan. 12 2003, 12:02 am

PS. scorch56, your post dates you.. 3D acceleration and demos bigger than 4MB didn't come along until 1998 or so. I remember the huge flamewars about acceleration vs. software rendering on comp.sys.ibm.pc.demos. I always thought demos lost a little when accelerated demos became the norm, but the change was inevitable. Fortunately design and innovation are getting back in style, but it seems it's mainly through old groups. Of course there's still the C64 and Spectrum demoscenes for when you want to be really impressed.

Hehe.. nah.. I've been into them before 98. I just said that they got bigger near the end (Glad to hear that there wasn't an "end".. I just lost track). I've got some as small as a few kbs. Some of my most favorite ones were not the 3D accelerated ones; but the ones that streamed graphic images and overlays on the screen with words and music.

BTW-I looked back through some of my old bookmarks. The name of the site I mentioned was actually "Tranzmit"; not a scene site per se.. but they offered a lot of them for download along with some awesome wallpapaers.

Found Orange juice as well.. actually I came acrossed a bunch of them.. but half the sites I had back then are gone.

BTW-Thanks for the info and links guys. I'm looking forward to seeing what I missed.

Originally posted by y2kzorak@Jan. 11 2003, 10:19 pm

The scene is still alive, though I guess maybe less noticeable? I don't know.. A while back I did some search for intros, and found some AMAZING ones. I can't believe they are 64K.

These guys produce the best ones:

http://www.farb-rausch.de/

I hope you enjoy them!

Actually.. I have some old Farbraush demos. Wow! That "poemtoahorse" is amazing! My God.. how due they squeeze so much beauty into 64k of code?
 

Taelon

Member
I, for one, will never forget the magic of some of the best demos running on a stock Amiga 500. Stuff like "Jesus On E's" or ... dang, I forget what the really famous one was, now.... but it did have full 3D graphics and some fantastic effects.

On a proprietary 8MHz, 16-bit machine with 512KB RAM, four digital voices and 32 colors in 320x200 resolution.


Kefrens.... it was a Kefrens demo... came on two floppy disks....

And I'm beginning to think it was called Desert Dream .....

lol, sorry.... my memory sometimes just trickles slowly but steadily...
 

AntiPasta

New Member
the demoscene lives on! Okay, it isn't as big as it used to be in 1993 (the best year imo) but it still kicks! I regularly boot up my GUS-equipped P120 to watch Crystal Dreams 2, Heartquake, Stars and all those classics...

By the way, why don't we start a demo compo for the saturn? If the PSX people have it, we can do it as well can't we :)
 

IceDigger

Founder
Staff member
I might have a "demo" contest for the saturn sometime in the future. Might put up one of my copies of Metal Slug up as a prize. Yes, I am serious about that.
 

antime

Extra Hard Mid Boss
Purple Motion's music site is here, and his tracked tunes can be downloaded from here (though I'm not sure all the tune from his musicdisc is there).

PS. If you liked Second Reality, be sure to check out the C64 conversion..
 

scorch56

New Member
Heh.. there's a song that plays during the installation of "Crusader-No Remorse". It's a beautiful guitar solo; kinda' reminded me of Satriani a bit. Anyway.. you never hear it again during the game. I scoured that CD for months trying to figure out where it was and how I could "capture" it and play it back. That's how I learned what Mods were. Turned out to be one. Beautiful song and sooo tiny.. "kb-wise".

Were mods used in video game carts as well at some time (i.e. before MIDI?)?
 

antime

Extra Hard Mid Boss
Originally posted by scorch56@Jan. 12 2003, 11:53 pm

Were mods used in video game carts as well at some time (i.e. before MIDI?)?

Define "mod". Some games used regular SoundTracker-spec mods (eg. the Jaguar's Tempest 2000), but tracker-like formats were probably pretty common as it's a very compact way of storing music. They're also not completely out of fashion, for instance the Unreal UMX format can contain S3M, IT and XM files.

(The music in Crusader: No Remorse was composed by Basehead and Necros who should both be familiar names to anyone who has spent time with tracked music.)
 

IceDigger

Founder
Staff member
I have the whole Crusader-No Remorse mod soundtrack if you want it. I loved that game. Playing that on my dads old p120 was a blast! The music to that game was surreal!
 

printf

New Member
And I really thought I was the only one here watching demos...

As far as Sega Saturn is concerned, some months ago I talked to a group of people who plan on doing a Saturn demo. I have no idea what kind of demo that will be or how many kb it's supposed to have (64kb maybe?). They mentioned some problems with the hardware setup, though, mostly with the VDP chips.

There's no doubt these people could do it and pull off a Saturn demo, they've made some for other platforms already. If only they weren't so lazy!

Oh, about Amiga demos: I'm sure most of you have heard of or seen the demo Odyssey by Alcatraz. One of the classics, besides the MegaDemo from RSI. If you haven't heard of it, go and get yourself an Amiga emulator and watch it!


printf
 

Curtis

Member
My all time favourite demo was called "Beyond Reality 2" - don't remember the group. Real-time 3D on the C64 was simply amazing and the music was top shelf


I had a real crazy for C64 demos for a while - when I had a working X1541 cable that was. I mostly got them from a site called Warlock or something...
 

printf

New Member
Originally posted by Curtis@Jan. 12 2003, 8:50 pm

My all time favourite demo was called "Beyond Reality 2" - don't remember the group. Real-time 3D on the C64 was simply amazing and the music was top shelf

Are you sure this wasn't either "Beyond Imagination 2" or possibly "Beyond Reality" (not "2")? Oh well, I still like "Camel Park".


printf
 

Curtis

Member
Originally posted by printf+Jan. 14 2003, 6:05 am--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(printf @ Jan. 14 2003, 6:05 am)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-Curtis@Jan. 12 2003, 8:50 pm

My all time favourite demo was called "Beyond Reality 2" - don't remember the group. Real-time 3D on the C64 was simply amazing and the music was top shelf

Are you sure this wasn't either "Beyond Imagination 2" or possibly "Beyond Reality" (not "2")? Oh well, I still like "Camel Park".


printf[/b][/quote]

Yes indeed you are right - it was Beyond Imagination 2. My bad.
 

Taelon

Member
X1541 cable, eh? Hmm, you might use that to just rip your 5.25" disks to image files and run them (ie, the demos) in a C64 emulator.
They're perfect enough that they can run even the trickiest gfx/sound effects in realtime without bugs...it's amazing.

I'm gonna have to get my old Aminet CD-ROMs out and see how well some of the *thousands* of demos on them work in WinUAE on my PC.
 
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